Are you down with the “Groundswell”?

Written by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff of Forrester ResearchAnother great book has been written. “Groundswell”, written by Forrester Research social and technology gurus Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff is a phenomenol book that will help guide any company’s social media campaign and strategy.

What’s great about this book is that they’ve incorporated the POST method into it. I first heard about this method in December 2007 through one of Jeremiah Owyang’s Twitter post and subscribed to receive a brief intro on what it is (you can read that blog post here). So just WHAT is the POST Method? It’s a systematic approach that you can use to gauge your approach in implementing a social strategy. Basically it stands for:

  • People: have you looked at your users and sought out what their social psychological behavior might be?
  • Objective: what is the end goal you want to achieve with your social strategy?
  • Strategy: think long-term about what impact your strategy will have on your audience.
  • Technology: what applications and solutions are you going to use to make your strategy happen?

This book is self-absorbed in the POST method and puts it into good practice. Compared to “Naked Conversations” or “Once you’re lucky. Twice you’re good…“, Groundswell is pretty much the same, but I think has a different audience in mind.

I enjoyed reading “Groundswell” and thought that I gained some really important information and data from their statistics, their Social Technographics data, and even their case studies. While “Naked Conversations” seemed more like a primer on blogging and social media and “Once You’re Lucky…” dabbled in the background information and provided some much needed lessons learned, “Groundswell” reaches out to those more interested in the analytical side. And who’s to blame them? It’s written by two great analytic minds of social media!

But if you’re thinking that “Groundswell” has examples for the small folks, you might find one or two examples, but for the most part, a majority of all the case studies and data focus on global and large corporations like FedEx, Dell, etc. and how that could be replicated for smaller businesses with a sizeable difference in revenue and resources is probably like comparing apples to oranges. The principles are still sound in that you should apply the POST method in any and all strategic discussions and campaigns since that, at the very least, is universal.

Follow along with the “Groundswell” or get out of the way…everyone needs to read this book and join in on the conversations. There are lessons to be learned and ideas to take away. And don’t worry…if you’re a beginner in the social media realm, you’ll be able to find this book worthwhile too. I’m not a big numbers person and would have fallen asleep if it was filled with just data and numbers throughout the book – but luckily Li and Bernoff knew who their audience would be and decided to just sprinkle a bit of data on us. Good job!

There’s more too…”Groundswell” will start you off on defining what the groundswell is and why it’s so important. Then you’ll go through how you can tap into this great market and phenomenon, including listening, discussing, energizing, supporting, and ultimately embracing it. Lastly, watch it be transformed and take on a life of its own and you’ll be the hero of the company.

Approximately 240+ pages of content (except for the acknowledgements, notes, table of contents, etc.) and it’s good information. I bought my book from Border’s for $29.95 (without tax) and it’s definitely going to sit around for a while. I’m going to reference this book for a while, that’s for sure.